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The New York Studio School’s Drawing and Sculpture Marathons are intensive two-week programs that kick off each semester. MFA and Certificate students are joined by visiting participants of all levels for these immersive studio programs. We asked one of the past participants to share their experience:

“I began my experience at the Studio School with Dean Graham Nickson’s Drawing Marathon. Each day we were presented with a different challenge — pushed to build drawings in new ways, at new scales, with critiques bringing students together. Graham Nickson explained that drawing is a metaphor for the experience of seeing, and we were encouraged to find moments of authenticity that showed engaged looking. He posed questions such as, ‘Is the image ruling you or are you ruling the image?’

I began to understand the ingredients of a drawing — space, form, tensions, interconnections, unity — and was also challenged to question them. Why is unity interesting? I learned to exchange the concept of ‘finishing’ a work for ‘strengthening,’ and discovered that reconsideration and corrections are as much tools as charcoal and acrylic.

I had not anticipated moving from a twenty-two inch square on day one to an eight-foot drawing by day ten. The Marathon forced me to consider drawing as an adventure and an emotional encounter. It pushed me to develop new goals: risk taking, exploration, surprise, and discovery.”

The Studio School also offers a Marathon with Guest Faculty and a Sculpture Marathon, in which sculpting serves to examine perception. Apply for the Marathon experience at the Studio School, which takes place January 19–29, 2016, at

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